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Preventative Oral Care During Pregnancy

    Over the past decade, the importance of oral health care as an integral part of preventative health care for pregnant women and their newborns, has been recognized by the U.S. Surgeon General, The World Health Organization and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

    During pregnancy, your body undergoes many complex physiological changes, which may adversely affect your oral health. Periodontal diseases such as, gingivitis and periodontitis, can be linked to the many changes that occur in the oral cavity during pregnancy.

    Many health professionals do not provide oral health care to pregnant women, and at the same time, many pregnant women, do not seek or receive care, even with obvious signs of oral disease. Delaying oral treatment could result in significant risk to you and your baby, for example, a bad tooth infection has the possibility to spread infection throughout your body.

    The practice of good oral hygiene and dental healthcare checks throughout pregnancy is not only beneficial to stop the spread of infection, it is also an opportunity to receive sound oral advice on the prevention of dental caries, which can be passed on to infants and young children from their mother.  The transmission of the caries-causing bacteria from mother to infants and young children can cause the early onset of caries in children’s primary teeth.

How Pregnancy May Affect Your Oral Health

Increased Risk Periodontal Disease 

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth. Gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease, occurs when the gums become swollen and red due to inflammation, and periodontitis, the most serious form of periodontal disease, occurs when the gums pull away from the tooth and supporting gum tissues are destroyed. 

Increased Risk of Tooth Decay 

Pregnant women may be more prone to cavities during pregnancy for a number of reasons. Morning sickness for one, can increase the amount of acid your mouth is exposed to, which can eat away at tooth enamel.

Tip: If you are suffering with morning sickness, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water to stop acid attacking your teeth.

Tender gums, a sensitive gag reflex and exhaustion can cause good oral habits to fall by the wayside. It’s important to keep up your routine and brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss and rinse with a non-alcoholic fluoride mouthwash.

Are Dental Medications, Anesthetics & X-rays Safe?


Even if you only think you might be pregnant, let your dentist know you are pregnant and how far along you are when making an appointment. Also let your dentist know of any medications you may be taking and any special advice from your physician. This information will help your dentist determine what type of prescription, if any, to write for you. Your dentist can consult with your physician to choose medications—such as painkillers or antibiotics—you may safely take during the pregnancy.  


One thing you don’t have to worry about is the safety of the numbing medications your dentist may use during the procedure. They are, in fact, safe for both you and your baby. 

“A study in the August 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association followed a group of pregnant women who had procedures that used anesthetics like lidocaine shots and a group that did not. The study showed these treatments were safe during pregnancy, as they cause no difference in the rate of miscarriages, birth defects, prematurity or weight of the baby.”


About half the women in the above-mentioned study had X-rays taken while pregnant, which were also found to be safe. Although, radiation from dental X-rays is extremely low, your dentist will cover you with a leaded apron that minimizes exposure to the abdomen. 

Practice of Good Oral Hygiene

+ If your last dental appointment took place more than 6 months ago, or you have any oral health concerns/problems, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.

+ Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or more often if the bristles are frayed.

+ Never share your toothbrush.

+ Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss/use an interdental cleaner and rinse each night with an alcohol free fluoride mouthwash.

+ Chew gum containing xylitol or use other xylitol-containing products, such as mints, which help reduce bacteria that can cause tooth decay.

+ Eat a variety of healthy foods (vegetables, dairy, legumes, poultry, meat etc) and reduce your intake of foods high in sugar (candy, cakes, soda etc).

+ Drink water or milk instead or juice or fruit flavored drinks.

OASIS Dental Team

Dr. Laura Cao is a graduate of Matsudo Dental College of Nihon University. She is an Associate Chief Physician and has a PhD in Stomatology. She worked for over  10 years in Tianjin Stomatology Hospital and won a number of professional awards during this time.  

Specialized Areas: 

Her expertise is in prosthodontics, including aesthetic repair, fixed denture repair, planting denture precision attachment denture, removable partial and complete denture repair and occlusal reconstruction. She is specialized in minimally-invasive aesthetic repair, i.e. Under the guidance of Digital Smile Design (DSD) and Diagnostic Wax Up, whiten teeth, complete direct composite resin fillings, do ceramic or ultra thin ceramic veneers and Invisalign. 


  • Member of World Dental Circle.

  • Member of the Chinese Aesthetic Dentistry Society.

Dr. Zhang Xi is a Masters degree graduate of Capital Medical University, majoring in dentistry. She is a children's dental specialist, so she is very familiar with managing children's fear of the dentist. Dr. Zhang employs the American Tell-Show-Do method (TSD) in help young children to overcome their fears and to feel comfortable in a dental environment. 

Specialized Areas: 

Dr. Zhang specializes as a children's dental specialist. She is adept in the diagnosis and treatment of many children's oral diseases and is proficient in children's oral treatment under general anesthesia.


  • Member of the Chinese Dental Association. 

Dr. Philip Chan is from CaliforniaUSA. He graduated with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of the Pacific, Dugoni School of Dentistry in San FranciscoCalifornia, in 1990. Dr. Chan has over 25 years of experience in clinical dentistry, which contributed to his development of successful private dental practices in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

He has extensive experience and knowledge in many specialized areas of dentistry. He will take the time to discuss all your options to create a personalized treatment plan to suit your specific needs and desires, while ensuring that you are in the utmost comfort and are completely happy with the results. Dr. Chan takes the time to get to know each and every one of his patients, whether your dental problem relates to missing teeth, a crooked smile or gum problems.


  • Honourable member of American Orthodontic Society